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Water Policy & Practice

Fourteenth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea

17-20 June 2013 | UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
The fourteenth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Consultative Process or ICP-14) took place from 17-20 June 2013 at the UN Headquarters in New York. Delegates heard panel presentations and discussed the impacts of ocean acidification on the marine environment with a focus on: the process of ocean acidification; impacts of ocean acidification and ongoing activities at the global, regional and national levels to address those impacts; and opportunities and challenges for addressing the impacts of ocean acidification on the marine environment, including through enhanced cooperation on scientific and technical aspects.

Download our summary and analysis of the meeting in HTML or PDF formats.
Room Shot
A view of the room during the opening plenary.
Highlights for Monday, 17 June

The fourteenth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Consultative Process or ICP-14) opened on 17 June 2013 at the UN Headquarters in New York. In the morning, delegates heard opening remarks from the Co-Chairs, as well as the Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and an Assistant Secretary-General from UN-DESA, followed by statements by countries and groups.

In the afternoon, the discussion panel on "The impacts of ocean acidification on the marine environment" began. Two panelists, Richard Feely, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, United States, and Wang Juying, National Marine Environmental Monitoring Center, China, presented on the process of ocean acidification. Another two panelists, Carol Turley, Plymouth Lab, United Kingdom, and Yoshihisa Shirayama, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, presented on impacts of ocean acidification.

The ensuing discussion covered, inter alia: the effect of acidification on sound absorption, particularly at lower frequencies; immediate actions that can be undertaken to reduce acidification, including reducing CO2 emissions, and addressing local environmental anthropogenic stressors that affect acidification; species migration patterns; levels of scientific certainty and scale of changes in projections; vulnerability of polar regions; and research on marine protected areas and species that are very resilient to ocean acidification.

Full web coverage available here: 17 June

Milan J.N. Meetarbhan
Co-Chair Amb. Milan J.N. Meetarbhan, Mauritius
Don MacKay
Co-Chair Amb. Don MacKay, New Zealand.
Patricia O'Brien
Patricia O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel.
Thomas Stelzer
Thomas Stelzer, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, UN-DESA.
Alejandro Sousa
Alejandro Sousa, Mexico.
Sae Horikawa
Sae Horikawa, Japan.
Michael Kabai
Michael Kabai, South Africa.
Wang Juying
Wang Juying, National Marine Environmental Monitoring Center, China.
Richard Feely
Richard Feely, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, United States.
Carol Turley
Carol Turley, Plymouth Lab, United Kingdom.
Yoshihisa Shirayama
Yoshihisa Shirayama, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.
S.K. Das
S.K. Das, India.
Lisa Speer
Lisa Speer, Natural Resources Defense Council.
Kenli Schaaf
Kenli Schaaf, United States.
Highlights for Tuesday, 18 June

On Tuesday, delegates at the fourteenth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Consultative Process or ICP-14) resumed their work with continued consideration of this year's topic: the impact of ocean acidification on the marine environment.

In the morning, delegates heard five presentations from panelists on the impacts of ocean acidification and ongoing activities at the global, regional and national levels to address those impacts. These presentations addressed, inter alia: expert recommendations from workshops on ocean acidification; the impacts of ocean acidification in deep, coastal, and surface waters in the southwest Pacific; the experience of shellfish aquaculture operations in the US Pacific Northwest; and pathways to resilience in the 21st century.

In the afternoon, an additional five presentations addressed opportunities and challenges for addressing the impacts of ocean acidification on the marine environment, including through enhanced cooperation on scientific and technical aspects. These presentations addressed, inter alia: current and future tactics to address ocean acidification in coastal ecosystems beyond decreasing CO2; the work of the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Centre; the development of the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network; tactics for addressing the impacts of ocean acidification from the perspective of developing countries, particularly Brazil; and challenges of capacity building and technology transfer for addressing ocean acidification in African countries.

The two open discussions covered issues including: the role of the General Assembly in coordinating the activities of international organizations working on ocean acidification; the role of marine protected areas as a source of resilience against ocean acidification; the socio-economic impacts of ocean acidification for fisheries, tourism and other sectors; the causes of varied coral reef resistance to ocean acidification; and the need for information sharing, technical assistance, and capacity building.

Full web coverage available here: 18 June

Nathalie Jeanne-Marie Hilmi
Nathalie Jeanne-Marie Hilmi, Centre Scientifique de Monaco.
Bill Dewey
Bill Dewey, Taylor Shellfish Farms, United States.
Robert Dunbar
Robert Dunbar, Stanford University, United States.
Yimnang Golbuu
Yimnang Golbuu, Palau International Coral Reef Center.
Kriangsak Kittichaisaree
Amb. Kriangsak Kittichaisaree, Thailand
Raylene Liufalani
Raylene Liufalani, New Zealand.
Mina Patel
Mina Patel, United Kingdom.
Ilana Coaracy Wainer
Ilana Coaracy Wainer, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.
Lisa Suatoni
Lisa Suatoni, Natural Resources Defense Council.
Libby Jewett
Libby Jewett, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States.
Michel Warnau
Michel Warnau, International Atomic Energy Agency.
Germain Michel Ranjoanina
Germain Michel Ranjoanina, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Madagascar.
Conferring
Rena Lee, Singapore, and Lorraine Anderson, Canada, conferred before the session.
Highlights for Wednesday, 19 June

On Wednesday morning, delegates at the fourteenth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Consultative Process or ICP-14) resumed their work with continued consideration of this year's topic: the impact of ocean acidification on the marine environment.

Delegates continued the general exchange of views that was started on Monday morning, and heard statements by countries, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations on existing and planned activities, projects and collaborations, and steps to address ocean acidification, including from: the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS); the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); the Secretariat of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP); the Secretariat of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC); the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); and OceanCare and the International Ocean Noise Coalition.

Delegates also discussed the process for the selection of topics and panelists so as to facilitate the work of the General Assembly, and issues that could benefit from attention in future work of the General Assembly on ocean affairs and the law of the sea.

Full web coverage available here: 19 June

Dais Shot

The dais during plenary.

Wendy Watson-Wright
Wendy Watson-Wright, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission/UNESCO.
Jihyun Lee
Jihyun Lee, Convention on Biological Diversity.
Jacqueline Alder
Jacqueline Alder, UNEP.
Sigrid Lüber
Sigrid Lüber, OceanCare/International Ocean Noise Coalition.
David Osborn
David Osborn, International Atomic Energy Agency.
Remy Mukongo Shabantu
Remy Mukongo Shabantu, Economic Community of Central African States.
Jay Reetoo
Jay Reetoo, Mauritius.
Vladimir Jares
Vladimir Jares, Deputy Director, UN-DOALOS.
Alice Hicuburundi
Alice Hicuburundi, UN-DOALOS.
Dais Huddle

The Co-Chairs and Secretariat conferred on the dais at the end of the session.

Rose
A rose in the garden, in front of the Queensborough Bridge.
Work in Progress
Outside the room, the renovation of the Secretariat building continued.
Highlights for Thursday, 20 June

On Thursday, delegates at the fourteenth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Consultative Process or ICP-14) completed their work.

In the morning, interested delegations met informally with the UN-Oceans coordinator to discuss new terms of reference for UN-Oceans. Plenary then commenced with a discussion of inter-agency cooperation and coordination focused around a presentation by UN-Oceans. Participants considered: the review of UN-Oceans' mandate and the drafting of a new terms of reference; and the Secretary-General's Ocean Compact. After a brief adjournment to provide delegates time to review the draft Co-Chairs' summary of discussions, delegates discussed the draft and suggested corrections and clarifications to best capture this week's discussions.

Co-Chair Amb. Milan J.N. Meetarbhan declared the meeting closed at 1:14pm.

Full web coverage available here: 20 June

Andrew Hudson
Andrew Hudson, UN-Oceans Coordinator.
Peter Thomson
Amb. Peter Thomson, Fiji.
Jón Erlingur Jónasson
Jón Erlingur Jónasson, Iceland.
Holger Martinsen
Holger Martinsen, Argentina.
Philippe Kridelka
Philippe Kridelka, UNESCO.
Harlan Cohen
Harlan Cohen, IUCN.
Reading the draft summary
Delegates reviewed the draft Co-Chairs' summary.
Reading the draft summary
Delegates reviewed the draft Co-Chairs' summary.
Tidiani Cuoma
Tidiani Cuoma, Monaco.
Ki-Jun You
Ki-Jun You, Republic of Korea.
Fiona Khan
Fiona Khan, UN-DOALOS, fanned herself after rushing copies of the draft summary from across the street.
Dais shot

Dais during closing remarks.

Lights Off
The renovated conference room's illuminated nameplates glowed in the dark after the lights were suddenly turned off.
Charlotte Salpin and Michele Ameri
Charlotte Salpin and Michele Ameri, ICP-14 Deputy Secretaries.
Your Earth Negotiations Bulletin Team
ENB Team

Members of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin team for the 14th meeting of the Consultative Process, with Co-Chair Amb. Don MacKay, New Zealand: (L-R) Graeme Auld, team leader, Canada; Co-Chair MacKay; Daniela Diz, writer, Brazil; Stefan Renckens, writer, Belgium; Dan Birchall, digital editor, United States. Photo by Marco Boccia, UN-DOALOS.

Related Links
Meeting resources

bulletMeeting website

bulletMeeting format and annotated provisional agenda

bulletReport of the Secretary-General on ocean acidification

bulletFull texts of contributions from UN agencies, programmes and bodies, as well as other intergovernmental organizations to first part of the report of the Secretary-General on oceans and the law of the sea to the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly (GA)


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